Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

by Erin on August 22nd, 2019

In very general terms, there are three general tactics employed. You need to be agile enough to hop between game plans instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you can manage, to barricade in your competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable tactic at the begining of the match. You can build the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. For example, if your opponent rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your challenger is then in serious difficulty considering that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or more checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your checkers.) It needs to be used when you are significantly behind as this plan greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchors are close to your opponent’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is important for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your challenger is getting their checkers home, considering that you don’t have any other extra checkers to shift! In this case, it’s better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position until your opposer gives you a chance to hit, so it will be a good idea to attempt and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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